Implementing a Healthy Eating Strategy after Heart and Lung Transplantation:A Randomised Controlled Feasibility Study

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Timothy Entwistle


Background: Studies evaluating the possible health-promoting effects of sound nutrition in heart and lung transplant recipients are currently lacking. Despite advances in drug treatment and patient monitoring, lifestyle-associated complications such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease occur frequently. Following transplantation, a low-fat eating pattern is currently viewed as best standard care. However, a Mediterranean diet based on a varied range of fresh unprocessed foods and supplemented with extra virgin olive oil has demonstrated clinical benefit in various non-transplant populations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a Mediterranean vs a low-fat diet intervention in heart and lung transplant recipients, and to assess clinical and biochemical outcomes. Methods: This was a randomised controlled feasibility trial to evaluate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, vs a modified low-fat diet in heart and lung transplant recipients at a single centre. In total, 41 clinically stable male and female (median age 55 years) transplant recipients were randomly assigned (1:1) in two separate 12-month waves (n=24 and n=17) to one of these diet interventions. A range of validated food frequency and adherence questionnaires captured changes in participants' reported eating habits to 6 weeks post-study. Clinical and biochemical analysis was conducted at baseline, 25 and 52 weeks. Telephone and outpatient contact provided a support mechanism to reinforce dietary behavioural change. Caloric intake and physical exercise awareness were discussed, but not promoted. Results: Thirty nine participants completed the trial (95%). Adherence to both interventions improved significantly at week 25, and was maintained at 52 and 58 weeks. Compared with baseline, waist circumference decreased in both groups at week 25 (p=0.024). A decrease in blood pressure and heart rate occurred at 52 weeks in the low-fat group only. At 52 weeks, higher adherence resulted in significant improvements in fasting glucose in the Mediterranean (


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date31 Dec 2017